Thermo Fisher to buy Affymetrix for $1.3 bn

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc, the world's largest maker of scientific instruments, over the weekend struck a deal to buy Affymetrix Inc for $1.3 billion in cash, in order to strengthen its biosciences and genetic analysis business.

Under the deal that has been agreed by the board of both companies, Thermo Fisher will pay $14 per share, a 52-per cent premium to Affymetrix's Friday close of $9.21.

Thermo Fisher intends to use cash on hand and short-term debt to finance the transaction and expects the deal to close by the end of the second quarter of 2016.

Affymetrix technologies enable multiplex and simultaneous analysis of biological systems at the cell, protein, and gene level, facilitating the rapid translation of benchtop research into clinical and routine use for human health.

Its customers include the pharmaceutical, diagnostic, and biotechnology companies as well as leading academic, government, and non-profit research institutes.

It has shipped more than 2,300 microarray systems globally and more than 94,000 peer-reviewed papers have been published citing its technologies.

The California-based company has manufacturing facilities in Cleveland, San Diego, Vienna and Singapore and employs around 1,100 people.

''The acquisition of Affymetrix will strengthen our leadership in biosciences and create new market opportunities for us in genetic analysis,'' said Marc Casper, president and CEO of Thermo Fisher Scientific.

''In biosciences, the company's antibody portfolio will significantly expand our offering in the fast-growing flow cytometry market, and customers will have greater access to these products through our global scale and commercial reach. In genetic analysis, Affymetrix's technologies are highly complementary and present new opportunities for us in targeted clinical and applied markets,'' he added.

Frank Witney, president and CEO of Affymetrix, said, ''We will be able to build on our strong history of close collaboration with customers in our target markets by leveraging Thermo Fisher's deep relationships, particularly in biopharma, as well as their global scale and leading presence in Asia-Pacific.''

Waltham, Massachusetts-based Thermo Fisher specialises in the field of scientific machinery for health-care services, as well as providing chemical supplies and medical services for hospitals and scientific research.

It has revenues of $17 billion and employs around 50,000 people in 50 countries.